Daniel Jones left on a stretcher in the second quarter following an awkward fall behind the endzone. PurpleWildcats.com heard shortly after that Jones' knee is "blown up," with a probable long-term injury ahead for the starting cornerback.
In his absence, the NU secondary struggled—though much of that can be attributed to Nick VanHoose. Redshirt freshman Dwight White stepped in admirably, but Cal and its "Bear Raid" attack thrived for much of Saturday night.
The offense played fairly well with Siemian at the helm but still missed its dynamic playmaker. (Another note: this one shouldn't linger. Colter could very well return by next week.)
Before kickoff, Dave Eanet of WGN Radio reported that Fitzgerald planned to avoid using Venric Mark for return situations. And in retrospect, that may have indicated that something was amiss.
Mark carried the ball only 11 times–way on the low side–and racked up only 29 yards. Treyvon Green, one of the team's great stories, played to his lofty potential in a two-touchdown outing. But if we have any reason to doubt Mark's health moving forward, we can temper our season expectations.
Starting corner done, perhaps for the season. Starting quarterback banged up, when concussions are scarier than ever. Starting running back hobbled, because that's how it seemed from here. NU escaped with an impressive victory at a heavy cost.